Wrecks sunk in Vigo Bay


  • Difficulty:: High
  • Minimum depth: 24 m
  • MaximuM depth:: 38 m
  • Dive time: 15-20 min
  • Causes of shipwreck:Stranded.
  • Ideal for: AOWD or superior.
  • Adverse weather conditions: Stormy, groundswell. Winds: O, ONO.
  • Currents: Soft.
  • Flora and marine fauna: Diversity of fish, large conger eels, corynactis of different colors, ascidians, dead hands, gorgonians among other things.



Name:: Atxondo
Año del hundimiento: 1986
Causes: Stranded
Lenth: 38 m
Beam: 7 m
Prop (height): 4 m
Max. depth: 38 m
Medium depth: 30 m
Min. depth: 24 m

Fishing boat of Basque origin sunk in the winter of 1986, due to the stron swell anda prevailing wind, it runs aground against the shallows known as "La negra". situated between the Estelas Island and the Cíes Islands on a sandy and rocky bottom, between 24 and 38 metres deep, almost completely lying on its port side.

This wreck shelters large conger eels and countless fish of different species. Steel stern colonized by various fouling species. Along its almos 40 meters of length, you can see its wooden deck, large masts and machines endind in the bow castle.

Font: http://buceaenlahistoria.org/


  • Difficulty: High.
  • Minimun depth: 38 m
  • Max. depth:: 51 m
  • Dive time: 20 min
  • Causes of shipwreck: Collision with a drifting log.
  • Ideal for: Very experienced divers in deep diving and wrecks (trimix required).
  • Adverse weather conditions: Stormy, groundswell, strong currentsTemporal, Mar de Fondo, corrientes, poor visibility.
  • Currents: Soft.
  • Flora and marine fauna: Pout whitings surrounding the wreck, conger eels, gillnets, crabs, etc.



Name: María Varela
Sinking year: 1994
Causes: Stranded.
Length: 30 m
Max. depth: 51 m
Min. depth: 38 m

An iron and wood fishing boat that is perched on a sandy bottom at a maximum depth of 51 meters. In the middle of navigation it collided with a drifting log. This wreck requires a high level of experience in deep and wreck diving. Despite the time that has elapsed, the entire bridge has been preserved, with a lot of loose rigging and nets that make diving dangerous. You can dive with air, but there is a risk of narcosis, it is preferable to go down with trimix.


  • Difficulty: High.
  • Minimum depth: 55 m
  • Max. depth:: 60 m
  • Dive time: 30-60 min
  • Causes of shipwreck: stranded.
  • Ideal for: Technical divers (TRIMIX).
  • Adverse weather conditions: Stormy, groundswell, strong currents and winds.
  • Currents: Moderate.
  • Flora and marine fauna: Sponges, Pountings, conger eels, common lobster, pencil worms.



Name: Itálica II
Sinking year: 1922
Causes: Stranded due to fog.Max. depth: 60 m
Profundidad mínima: 60 m

"Unfortunately 1922 would not begin better than the year just ended because the ITALIC II steamship had sunk on the 11th of January on its way out of the port of Vigo as a result of having opened a waterway in the engine department when playing the bass of Beduidos".

Thus concluded the article entitled "JOSÉ MARÍA YBARRA Y LOS ITÁLICA", published by VICENTE SANAHUJA a little over a year ago in VIDA MARITIMA, a text taken from the book LA NAVIERA YBARRA, an excellent compilation written by ADOLFO CASTILLO DUEÑAS and INIGO YBARRA MENCOS.

Its authors stated in the same book that the shipwreck of the ITALIAN (II) had not been a great loss since of its value only 56,000 pesetas remained to be amortized. Even four months after the loss it had already been replaced: the steamship CORIA, from the SEVILLE SHIPPING COMPANY, later renamed CABO DEL AGUA (II). However, the Spanish soldiers fighting in Africa and the Mothers' Commission did not share the same sentiments as the authors, who had made a great effort that had vanished in one fell swoop. The 13 parcels he was transporting to Ceuta, which constituted the aguinaldo of the Murcia battalion and consisted of 1,000 waterproof hats, 800 wool vests, 800 pairs of wool socks and 800 scarves, had been completely lost along with the steam. After all, the only good thing is that there were no victims.

The ITALIQUE (II) was at that time a veteran of its journey number 274. It had been built in 1884 by the British shipyard J.L. THOMPSON & SONS LTD. of Sunderland, and its main features were as follows: Gross Registration Tonnage, 1,070 tons; Net Registration Tonnage, 765 tons; Dead Weight, 1,800 tons; Length, 67.00 meters; Beam, 9.53 meters; Prop, 4.23 meters.

He had arrived in Vigo on Tuesday 10 January 1922 from Santander with general cargo. Captain RAFAEL ARANCIVIA was in command and had a crew of 27 men, including Galicians, Andalusians and Basques. At eight o'clock in the evening on January 11th, he left for Seville with general cargo, a large consignment of wood and numerous barrels empty.

That night there was a thick fog in the area, so the captain chose to go out on the North Channel. Everything went smoothly despite the fact that visibility was still poor throughout the estuary. This lack of visibility meant that the captain was unable to leave the dangerous Bedouin basement at Punta Rodeira unprotected, hitting the last rock. A good part of the crew was asleep at the time. At a quarter to ten o'clock in the evening, he felt a heavy blow on board, followed by two other minors. The impact had been felt by the ITALIAN in its centre on the starboard side, in the middle of the engine room, with a waterway opening up through which it began to enter.

The captain immediately organized the abandonment of the ship, launching two lifeboats into the sea, where all the crew members, most of them after an unpleasant awakening, embarked. It was bitterly cold and the shipwrecked, terrified castaways sought the safety of the port of Vigo, where they put bows. A few minutes later, a very opportune savior appeared in the fog. It was the yacht SAN ANTONIO from A Coruña, skippered by JOSÉ SAMBADE, who picked up the castaways, gave them first aid and set sail for Vigo. On the way to the port they crossed paths with a couple of fishing boats. One of them was taken up by the captain, the first officer, the boatswain and some sailors, begging the master to take them back to the scene of the accident, with the intention of steaming them out of the rocks. However, by the time the ITALIAN had arrived, it had disappeared completely under the water and only numerous barrels and wood were left on the surface to be transported on deck, silent witnesses of the shipwreck. Only a little over an hour had passed since the impact. Once safely ashore, the captain and some crew members spent January 13 and 14 in the Navy courthouse to testify.



  • Difficulty: Low
  • Min. depth: 12 m
  • Max. depth:: 20 m
  • Dive time: 40-50 min
  • Causas: stranded in the rocks near the Estelas Islands.
  • Ideal for: AOWD or superior.
  • Adverse weather conditions: Stormy, groundswell, currents, strong winds.
  • Currents: Strong.
  • Flora and marine fauna: Pountings, conger eels, common lobster, dead man's fingers, octopus, cuttlefish, white seabream, etc.



Name: Ibis
Sking year: 1976
Causes: Stranded.
Max. depth: 20 m
Min. depth: 12 m

A freighter carrying iron ore. On a stormy night in 1976, it ran aground on the shallows surrounding the Estelas Islands. It is quite deteriorated, although it is possible to visit some of its wineries.


  • Difficulty: Low
  • Min. depth: 8 m
  • Max. depth:: 14 m
  • Dive time: 45-60 min
  • Causes of shipwreck: run aground.
  • Ideal for: OWD or superior.
  • Adverse weather conditions: stormy, groundswell.
  • Currents: Soft.
  • Flora and marine fauna: Common seabreams, ballan wrase, octopus, cuttlefish, spider crab, undulate ray, handocks, ballan wrasse, white seabreams, mussels.



Name: Cros
Sinking year: 1909
Shipbuilding year: 1892
Causes: Encallado.
Profundidad máxima: 8 m
Profundidad mínima: 14 m

Southern Cross was a British refrigerated steamship that ran aground and shipwrecked at the entrance to the Ría de Vigo on 24 December 1909. Much biodiversity associated with the wreck, at a depth of about 14 metres, on a rocky sandy bottom.


  • Difficulty: High.
  • Min. depth: 36m.
  • Max. depth:: 42 m
  • Dive time: 30-60 min.
  • Causes: Hit by storm.
  • Ideal for: Experienced advanced divers and technical divers.
  • Adverse weather conditions: Stormy, groundswell, strong winds from W/NW.
  • Corrientes:
  • Flora and marine fauna: conger eels, pountings, handock, white seabream, dead mans's fingers, sea pen, ballan wrasse.



Name: Isurus
Shrinking date:
Shipbuilding date:
Max. Depth:
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  • Difficulty: Low
  • Min. depth: 15 m
  • Max. depth:: 15 m
  • Dive time: 40-50 min
  • Causas: Stranded.
  • Ideal for: OWD or superior.
  • Adverse weather conditions: Stromy, groundswell.
  • Currents: Soft.
  • Flora and marine fauna:spider crabs, white seabreams, ballan wrasses, undulate ray, octopus, cuttlefish.



Apelativo: Antártida/Antártico
Año del hundimiento: 1987
Año de construcción:
Causas: Encallado.
Profundidad máxima: 15 m
Profundidad mínima: 13 m

Pesquero de hierro que el mar de fondo empujó contra el bajo de los Carallones. Se encuentra en perfecto estado de conservación. Inmersión Fácil. Se halla a poca profundidad (13m) y presenta buena visibilidad.


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  • Causes of shipwreck: Bombardeo fuerzas aéreas y artillería naval.
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Apelativo: Manadas de Lobos
Año del hundimiento: 1943
Causas: Bombardeo de fuerzas aéreas y artillería marina
Eslora: 67 m
Bandera: Alemana
Profundidad máxima: 38 m
Profundidad media: 00 m
Profundidad mínima: 00 m

Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, los submarinos alemanes, cuando luchaban contra los aliados y acosaban a los mercantes americanos e ingleses en el Atlántico Norte, utilizaban la Ría de Vigo como refugio, desde donde se abastecían de víveres, combustible y descanso para la tripulación. Vigo se convirtió a su vez en una ciudad de espías que avisaban a los aliados cuando partía o se acercaba un submarino nazi. Como resultado del ataque de las fuerzas aliadas más de un submarino alemán fue alcanzado por sus armas y hundidos en el entorno de la Ría de Vigo. Se conoce la existencia de 4 de ellos en sus aguas:

  • U-134. Hundido el 24 de agosto de 1943 frente a las Islas Cíes por las fuerzas aéreas británicas “Royal Air Force Britanica”.
  • U-506. El 12 de julio de 1943 fue hundido frente a las islas Cíes por siete cargas de profundidad lanzadas por el bombardero estadounidense B-24 “Liberator”.
  • U-523. Hundido frente a las Islas Cíes el 25 de agosto de 1943, tras ser bombardeado por la corbeta HMS Walflower y la fragata HMS Wanderer británicas.
  • U-760. Atacado y dañado por el avión británico “Wellington” en la costa de Fisterra. Acabó sus días el 8 de septiembre de 1943 en el entorno de la Ría de Vigo, donde fue a buscar refugio. Se rinde en Vigo, pero es traladado a Ferrol. Al acabar la Guerra, es entregado a los Aliados. Hundido en Diciembre de 1945 al Norte de Irlanda en la “Operación Deadlight” (eliminación de la flota submarina alemana).

Estos pecios se encuentran a gran profundidad, pues el lecho del mar se abisma al poco de abandonar las islas Cíes. Casi imposible para submarinistas, pues se necesitaría un robot o un batiscafo para llegar a ellos.

Fuente: http://buceaenlahistoria.org/